Douglas Park crash: Woman dies after becoming trapped in burning ute
A woman has died after becoming trapped in the back of a burning ute following a horrific collision.
Sela Maumalanga was a passenger in the ute when it collided with a dual cab vehicle on Menangle Road at Douglas Park, in Sydney‘s south-west, at 4.20am a week ago.
Her uncle Peni Tu Itupou struggled out of the ute with help from witnesses and was taken to hospital with ‘significant injuries’.
But the damage to the ute prevented those on the scene from pulling Ms Maumalanga free.
The ute burst into flames and Ms Maumalanga, 37, died in the vehicle.
The other driver, the only occupant of his vehicle, suffered only arm injuries.
Ms Maumalanga was an admired and beloved member of Sydney’s Tongan community, which was rocked by her sudden passing.
‘Sissy, I’m so sorry no one [could] get you out. I’m sorry I was not there with you,’ a loved one wrote on Facebook.
‘Wake up sis, I don’t want to let you go,’ she wrote.
‘You never changed,’ another added.
‘So humble and loving with a pure heart of gold. Your smile and laughter was so infectious, you made everyone feel loved.’
‘The beautiful moments you shared with us will never be forgotten,’ a third wrote.
‘Your countless deeds of kindness, always giving never expecting any favours in return.’
Friends also added to the tributes as they came to terms with the shock death.
‘Fly high beautiful,’ one wrote.
Ms Maumalanga’s family-oriented nature was clear from the many tributes.
‘No matter how busy we were with our own little family you were always checking up on us,’ one wrote.
‘She always checked up on me and the kids. A beautiful soul taken too soon,’ another friend said.
‘Thank you for being the only one who continued to always check up on my kids, a third wrote.
A GoFundMe has since been started with $7,565 raised in four days.
‘She was a ray of positivity and she will be missed by everyone,’ it read.
NSW Police confirmed to Daily Mail Australia the cause of the crash is under investigation.